He walked off Lambeau Field with his arm around his best friend, he didn't want to give away his jersey, and he fought back his emotions in the last moments of the game.
He did and said some of the same things after the Packers' exit from the playoffs last season. The year before that.
There will be no playoffs. The Packers needed to beat the Lions on Sunday night in order to make the playoffs. They missed out on the playoffs for the first time in four years.
Rodgers said that at some point the carousel stops and it's time to leave. That needs to be considered. Is it enough? The organization is doing something. That is also part of it. The competitive fire is still going to be there. I don't believe that will go away. Sometimes it is transferred to other things that don't fill the void. I don't have any regrets walking away from this league because I feel good about what I've done. I need to see what it feels like when I leave this.
On March 8 last year, Rodgers said he was coming back. He extended his contract by three years. If he plays in 2023, he will get a bonus of more than $1 million. Rodgers wanted to walk away from the money.
Rodgers said it was a feeling when asked what the deciding factor would be. Several things that could influence that feeling were listed by him.
He asked if he had anything left to prove to himself. I don't know if I want to go back and get ready for another grind. Is this the right time? It's time to step away. Is it time for someone else to lead this team?
I think I need to take a break. I think those are legit. I have a lot of pride in what I've been able to accomplish in this league, but I'm also realist and understand where we're at as a team. We're a young team and there could be changes with some of the older guys. I have to get back out there and go on another run. I will have to see what it feels like after I leave.
Rodgers admitted that his decision could be influenced by whether or not the Packers bring back some of their key players.
If the organization hasn't yet told Rodgers face-to-face, it has. Gutekunst told reporters last month that he wants Rodgers to come back. After one of Rodgers' less productive seasons, LaFleur thinks the organization still feels the same.
LaFleur said it was in his mind. He's going to make that decision.
In the event that Rodgers wasn't ready to retire, the Packers wanted to move on to Jordan Love and he didn't completely close that door.
Rodgers' final throw of the season was picked off by Kerby Joseph. The ball wasn't returned by the Packers. It was Rodgers' 12th pick of the season, which was the second highest in his first season as a starter. The first player to pick off Rodgers three times in a season was Joseph.
Rodgers had no doubt in his mind that he can still play at a high level, just like he felt last year, when he had finished his second straight NFL Most Valuable Player season and the fourth of his career.
He said yes.
After the trade of wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders in March, Rodgers was roughed up, even though the Packers drafted three wide outs. There's a lot of good, young talent on this team, and if certain guys make the jumps from years one to two, this offense could look a lot different.
Rodgers wants to get away from the season and take the emotion out of it.
He did that for most of his time in the auditorium.
Until the last moment.
If this is it, what will he miss the most? Rodgers said he would miss the guys. The fans will be missed.
He paused and said yes. I would like to thank you.
He went into another off season of thought.